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Stay Smart, Stay Local

By Datta Khalsa

I received an unexpected email from a longtime client that she planned to list her beach home for $2.9 Million with an agent from an out-of-the-area brokerage who have positioned themselves as specialists in marketing luxury properties.

They would advertise it in all of their offices and it would be mentioned in the meetings at their offices throughout the Bay Area and in their luxury home magazine distributed worldwide. It would appear in their ads that run in the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Sunday NYT Magazine, etc.

But I could sell it, and she would let me know before it goes up on the MLS.

I let her know I have not exactly been Dorman in this segment, having closed escrow on two homes priced at over $2 Million in the past 2 months and would very much appreciate the opportunity of at least being considered to represent her.

I also informed her that it is rare for any agent to sell their own listing and that vetting such claims of superior results by a brand like theirs consistently shows they don’t sell any more of their own listings than anyone else.

As for the odds of my being the agent to procure the buyer, in spite of her kind suggestion of me bringing in an offer, this too was unlikely—in much the same way as it is even as a listing agent—given that there are over 1200 licensed agents in this county alone, and increasing numbers of interlopers from out of the area coming in all the time.

I went ahead and ran the statistics MLS activity for homes priced at $1.5 Million or greater from Santa Cruz to Capitola over the course of the past year and provided the full report for her review. And as if on cue, none of the sales had been represented on either side by this out-of-town agency—they simply weren’t a force in our marketplace. And looking more closely at the statistics, an even more revealing picture emerges:

Out of 34 Total sales for this segment, the vast majority were sold by a different agency than the agency who listed it. Just 6 were sold by a different agent within the same office, and all 6 of those were from agencies with 150 agents or more, who collectively make up over 1/3rd of the local agent population. In fact, only one of the listing agents out of the whole study ended up bringing in the buyer, and that agent was from a small local office.

I will leave it to the reader to draw their own conclusions, but the above statistics provide a pretty clear indication that local professionals are still the ones who are getting the job done. As for the client, I’m happy to report that she reached out to me to meet at the home and we are actively working to prepare it for the market with the help of the right team of experts whom only a local agent would know who to call.

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